If you read my post on Soprano Session Singers recently, this one will be pretty similar. Today though, we’re going to be discussing tenor session singers.
Tenor Session Singers: A Breakdown
What are tenor session singers?
The tenor part of a choir is the male vocal that is “higher” on the scale. Some tenor singers can go into the alto range for females (and vice versa) or can dip down into the bass range. This is where it tends to get complicated for songwriters.
If you’re a songwriter, you may be looking for a tenor session singer for your project. You may figure that you need a tenor because the song’s range is higher for the male voice, so you go to different singers and ask if they are tenors. You may find that some of them say yes, only to find they are not a good fit for your project.
The easiest way to find the right singer for your project is to simply ask them their range. Most session singers know this and can provide it for you. You can then see if your song falls within their range.
Another option is to play or sing the melody yourself and ask the singer to review the song to see if it’s in their range. They can listen to the track and let you know if any sections or notes fall outside of their comfort zone.
Don’t be scared to sing your demo for a session singer!
We will not judge or make fun of you (please see this blog post where I break it all down!). We simply need to hear the style and range you need in order to determine how to do your song justice. Many songwriters are scared to sing if they feel they aren’t good, so I always want to shout this from the roof.Songwriters: Don't be afraid to sing your demo for your session singer! We won't judge you! Click To Tweet
If you really don’t think you can do it, simply playing it by piano or guitar is enough for your singer to tell you if they can do it.
But what if I’m a classical composer and really need an actual tenor?
That’s fine, but it would still be a good idea to just ask them for their range. You never know if your specific tenor part will work for them.
How do I become a tenor session singer?
1). Make sure you know your range. Here is the video I posted in my Soprano post:
2). Network! Meet songwriters at open mic nights. Connect with writers on LinkedIn, Facebook, or your preferred social media.
3). Create and maintain your own social media presence. I recommend YouTube and ReverbNation most for session singers, but SoundCloud is a good option too.
4). Build your reel and continue to hustle. Meet other session singers (hi!) and network. We like to help each other!
Sadly, there is no set-in-stone step I can give you to becoming a session singer. It’s not a field where you get a degree and suddenly you are what you set out to be. But you can absolutely make it and have a great career if you are serious and dedicated to your craft!
This post is intentionally a little shorter because I went into most of this in my Sopranos post, and it kind of works for every type of session singer. Hopefully it helps though!
Are you a tenor session singer? How did you get started? If you have any tips for readers, please feel free to share!